Coronavirus: Peterborough Amazon creates jobs as it focuses on essential supplies

Internet retailing giant Amazon is creating jobs as it refocuses its operations to meet the priority needs of customers.

Victor Pulido, Amazon general manager at Peterborough.
Victor Pulido, Amazon general manager at Peterborough.

The online retailer, which employs about 1,000 people at its fulfilment centre in Kingston Park, Peterborough, says it has worked to ensure the centre is giving priority to stocking and delivering items most in need during the coronavirus pandemic.

The company has created 5,000 new full and part-time positions and delivery driver opportunities across the UK to meet the increase in demand for its products.

Victor Pulido, general manager, said: “Whether it’s fulfilling orders in one of our centres, delivering an order to a customer’s doorstep, or one of the many roles in between, we couldn’t be more proud of the critical role our teams are serving by enabling people to stay safe at home while receiving the products they need.

Stuart Hills-Harrop.

“Nothing is more important to us than making sure we protect the health of our teams, and we’ve been working around the clock since the early days of the outbreak to make changes to our processes and procure the necessary supplies for this.”

“To serve our customers and ensure the safety of our team members, we have changed our logistics, transportation, supply chain, purchasing, and third-party seller processes to prioritise stocking and delivering items that are a higher priority for our customers.”

“Measures have been taken to protect the health of staff.”

They include increasing the frequency and intensity of cleaning, introducing the two-metre distancing rule, staggering shift start, finish and break times, and providing hand sanitiser stations and reminders on hand-washing and making face masks available to employees and drivers, temperature checks at sites and making deliveries are contact-free.

The Amazon fulfilment centre at Peterborough.

Amazon employees diagnosed with COVID-19 or placed into quarantine receive up to two weeks’ of additional paid time off.

Pay has been increased by £2 per hour from now through to the end of April and which is on top of our current starting rate of £10.50.

Stuart Hills-Harrop, who works in the receive team at the Peterborough fulfilment centre, said: “Since the onset of Coronavirus, Amazon has done even more to support us.

“My wife has M.E. and she is in the high-risk category.

“Amazon has let us carry our phones on the job in case of emergency and for peace of mind.

“It makes it much easier to stay in touch with relatives at risk and family at this worrying time.

“There is plenty of hand sanitiser and lots of social spacing everywhere so we are not standing next to each other and stay at least two metres apart.

“All of this is so important in making us feel able to come to work and not worry.”

Amazon associate Mihail Iscu-Lacatusu said: “I have volunteered to help with temperature-checking and I had special training to do this.

“If someone has a high temperature they cannot come in and we send them home, to keep everyone safe.

“Even the food is all pre-wrapped and self-service there is no overcrowding in the queues.

“Having my phone also takes away the worry I have about my family when I am at work.”